Aanchal’s current location: Siliguri, West Bengal, India

Time Zone: 9.5 hours ahead of Philadelphia

Managing work and classes in different time zones seems to be interesting and taxing at the same time. Having been a teacher for the past few years in a boarding school where I used to eat breakfast with my students everyday at 7:00am, it feels a little weird to start school hours at 6:45 pm (it was dinner time in my school by then). I have lost the habit of waking up early with an alarm. I usually wake up whenever I want. Correcting this has been the most difficult part about the time difference between Siliguri and Philly and it continues to be so.

During the third EDUC 514 class (9:15-11:30 am EDT), everyone including Dr. Wagner and the TA were discussing how beautiful that morning in Philadelphia was. I was eating something, and Dr. Wagner asked me what it was. When I told him I was having my dinner, he was quite surprised and we could not stop laughing.

Every Friday, a dramatic event takes place at my home during the fifteen-minute break (11:15-11:30am EDT) between my recitation hour and my lab session. My mother rushes to get my dinner ready and I quickly eat it in 5-7 minutes. Indian food in 5 minutes is a challenge. One time, Dr. Thapa joined Zoom just to inform me that I had entered the wrong meeting link and I couldn’t respond as my hands were messy due to my dinner. He seemed quite perplexed by what was happening.

Aanchal’s dinner on a hectic Friday night (morning in Philly)

The time difference has been an interesting experience for me. The faculty and staff at IEDP have made it as smooth and as convenient for us as possible. However, managing more than a month of online classes in a different time zone would not have been possible without the privilege of having a room and an internet connection for myself and, most importantly, a supportive family.